Reconnecting. I’m getting to it.

Today, I was planning on writing about how I got my new organic abstract paintings all listed in the shop. However, something inside beckoned for me to go and check up on a long time friend first. Artist, fellow gardener and blogger, Anne Butera.

I’m so glad I did. Visiting Anne Butera’s website and blog was just what I’ve been needing for a while and didn’t even know it. Her last blog post has not only changed my outlook on the way I want to continue writing my own blog but it has influenced how I view social media as well. She has an uncanny way of making me think differently about things.

Anne recently closed her Instagram account. I knew she had toyed with the idea earlier this year but had returned. But you know how social media is… Instagram especially. Your posts are lost so quickly and if you’ve followed very many people their posts are fleeting, if shown to you at all. This second time of quitting Instagram for her though has stuck.

But I wouldn’t have known this if I hadn’t had the intuition to visit her blog today. For me, her writing was about reconnecting with what felt true and right for her. That lead me to thinking about what is it I really want to say. What is true and right for me?

I have to be honest, the last couple of years my blog has been rather superficial. Oh sure, there’s been a few posts when the real and raw makes itself out of me. However, ever since leaving Blogger years ago the sad truth is my blog has sunk. At least in the form of a two way conversation goes I mean.

Comments are rare to receive. I know that shouldn’t dictate how or if I continue to share and it doesn’t, really. Nonetheless, it does sometimes make me sad. Does anyone actually read what I’m writing? Which leads me to wonder, am I writing anything that is of value or even thought provoking enough for someone to bother to take the time to write a few of their thoughts about my subject? Am I actually connecting with anyone? That’s the biggest question I think.

Lake and trees in the sun on a November day

November day off my deck.

Because it’s all about connection isn’t it? Or reconnecting even, right? In today’s society, I’ve noticed I’m not connected with as many people in a meaningful way like I used to be before social media reared its ugly head. Of course I “see” more people everyday than I did ten years ago. I see their posts on Facebook (more often than Instagram) but usually they’re not a true, meaningful connection.

They might re-share a joke or share a recipe or sadly an obituary and in the worse case scenario political stuff, ick ha ha. Yet, I’m just as guilty, sharing jokes like mad. Things that make me chuckle or that I find important. Sadly, we never scratch the surface of actual feelings that go along with the re-shares. I find that I mindlessly scroll. That’s exactly what the app is programmed to do. Make you mindlessly scroll to keep you on the app to sell more advertising.

Every once in a while I find a heart felt post but most people are too busy to bother to write a sincere reply. Plus, Facebook makes it way too easy to just click a heart or a care button instead of really offering friendship and support. In a second or two I find myself scrolling on to the next without much thought. I feel social media has made us all less caring even as it has “connected” us by making us “friends”. So many empty relationships it feels like, and that feels wrong.

When’s the last time I picked up the phone and spoke with a friend or even family member? Other than a quick yes or no conversation, not often enough. I used to hate texting but now, I’ve become accustomed to the impersonal-ness of it. If I don’t feel like talking, I just text. It’s gotten too easy to look like I care without having to do the heavy lifting. I don’t like it anymore.

peering into my greenhouse through the studio door

The view into greenhouse from my art studio

It seems lately, I see a lot of people around my age posting about the good ol’ days. The times of the 1970’s and 1980′ when life was easier, less complicated. I admit, I’m right there with them. It was time when I was a kid and growing up.

If I wanted to play with a friend, I had to walk to their house, knock on their door and ask if they could play. Or when older, I had to pick up the phone off the wall and dial the number in from memory and make plans to meet. Sometimes, I just drove to their house to see if they were home. Relationships seemed to have so much more meaning then. We legitimately interacted with one another.

Life has changed now. Social media and technology isn’t all bad. It’s lead to some long lasting friendships like the one with my friend Anne that I would’ve never had without this blogging world. But I feel social media like Facebook and Instagram has become an addiction. An addiction for temporary feelings of happiness and connection when really it’s fostering shallow, impersonal relationships.

Reconnecting with people takes effort. Sometimes I feel there’s not enough hours in the day to try and bother. But really, at the end of the day my real connections are what bring me the most joy. Not empty likes and shares.

So am I going to quit social media? No. But I am going to promote deeper relationships through the ways I know how. Blogging and phone conversations… meeting in person when possible. How is it that in a world that is so connected, we can be so lonely and disconnected?

I hope you’ll join me. How you ask? Start reading blogs again and comment with your thoughts even if they might differ with the author. Start writing your own blog. Share with the world what makes you you. Make that deeper connection. Or make that reconnecting phone call with your loved one or friend. We have to make the effort. Our emotional lives depend on it.

New Organic Paintings ⬅︎

paintings by Jaime Haney

Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.

If you would like to keep up with what I’m doing, I have a newsletter e-mailed about once a month that gives you special status for invitations, birthday greeting and more. I’d love for you to add your email to my Friends and Collectors list!

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